Not so long ago, losing a prized possession often meant that it was gone forever, but that was before social media gave us a whole new world of communication. This power we hold at our fingertips was recently felt by a couple who’d lost a wedding ring on the beach eight years ago. But, because of an online search that only took a few hours, they now have it back.
In 2010, Paul Schaefer lost his wedding ring when he took it off and put it in his pocket at Bermagui Beach, located in New South Wales, Australia. When he realized it was gone, he and his wife Lynnette thought they had lost it forever.
A visitor at the beach, 9-year-old Jade Hutchison, found it. “When I found the ring, we tried to hand it in and find the owner, but the police station was closed at the time,” she tells Babble, “so I ended up taking it home with me. It was one of my goals to eventually return it to the owner!”
Fast-forward to 2018. After chatting with a friend about the ring, now 17-year-old Hutchison was inspired to find the ring’s rightful owner. Thankfully, she now had the power of social media on her side.
Hutchison herself doesn’t live near the beach, but she started her search in the Bermagui area online groups, thinking that was her best shot.
“I started looking for Facebook groups and local pages around Bermagui area and stumbled across the Bermagui notice board,” she says. “I got accepted to the group and wrote a paragraph letting everyone know I had a wedding ring that I had found 8 years ago!”
Thankfully, one of the groups she tried hit the mark. Schaefer tells Babble:
“Jade joined the Cobargo Bermagui buy swap and sell site to see if she could find the owner. It came up on my news feed; that’s how I saw it. After messaging backwards and forwards, we realized she had found Paul’s ring, much to everyone’s amazement. Who would have thought that after all these years it would turn up?”
As luck would have it, the Schaefers were already planning a trip to Sydney (where Jade lives), so they set up a meeting and retrieved their long lost ring. “Jade is a beautiful young girl and we are very grateful that she went to the trouble to look for the owner,” Lynnette says.
The timing couldn’t be better, as Lynnette and Paul will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year. And now he has his ring back on his finger in time to celebrate!
While it’s true that Internet can be an ugly place sometimes, it’s also a powerful tool capable of doing really good things like this. And hey, maybe this means the Cabbage Patch doll I left at the grocery store in 1986 may someday find its way back to me.